Inside Earth Observation & Data Analysis 

Earth Observation has been a hot topic in the NewSpace industry for several months now. On Episode 23 of The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast we were joined by Kammy Brun, an expert in strategy and business development in aerospace and AI based analytics applications, to discuss the forces driving the growth of Earth Observation. Kammy has held several roles in the space industry, including Airbus and SkyFi. She has also completed multiple degrees, and is currently finalising her MBA. Read on for her insights. 

What are the main applications of the NewSpace industry, and what’s really driving demand for them? 

Defence security has always been the first market for geospatial solutions. Today, we can work together with remote sensing geospatial with the IoT and AIS. That is definitely one of the markets where I can see lots of synergy between different technologies. I believe that we should have some applications which merge geospatial and navigational capabilities and make them more integrated, because the end users don’t really care which technology it is. 

Maritime is another one of the markets that is going quite well. There’s a future there. I’m pretty sure that with the growing numbers of AI-based analytics companies globally, we will be able to offer some solutions which are more tailor made for the end user. We’ll be able to  give end users a solution, but we currently can’t, because they did not know what geospatial was. We can have a bigger market, the reason we don’t is because we do not yet have a perfect solution for the end user. 

For our users, it’s relative. They want to have something easy to use – they don’t care about what it does or image resolution or the AI behind it. It’s very difficult to offer a service that is simple and easy to use and gives you the answer that you need, but those private markets will be able to grow in the next few years as the technology develops. For today, those geospatial companies are offering better and better solutions that will draw people into the industry. 

How is the industry currently leveraging these technologies to enhance data analysis and decision making processes?

AI and machine learning has always been used in geospatial markets. We use it for object or change detection. It’s also been used to classify different objects in a set of images. Today we are using it even more than we did five years ago. It is a good market driver for companies who manage more data, because today’s AI and machine learning will be able to help them manipulate or ingest more data. 

In the remote sensing markets, we’re expecting a baby boom of hyperspectral constellations. Hyperspectral is not new, but we have not always used it from space – it was originally used from planes or drones. With NewSpace hyperspectral images and geospatial expertise, I’m pretty sure that a lot of applications will open up as we increase the data supply. We will have a better usage of AI and new applications. Currently we know some of the use cases with hyperspectral, but we are not yet fully exploiting the potential. I expect significant growth in the next few years.

To learn more about Kammy’s work and experiences in the NewSpace industry, tune into The Satellite & NewSpace Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Challenges in the TV & Streaming Space

Changing consumer habits have drastically impacted the TV and streaming industry for the past few years. On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by the Vice President of Strategy, Business Development & International at Sling TV, Liz Riemersma. Liz has a background in marketing and business development in a variety of sectors, and has spent the past seven years within the TV industry. These are her thoughts on the challenges currently facing the sector:

Over the past couple of years, many of the players in the industry have collectively forgotten what their DNA is. Prior to the rise of direct to consumer platforms, media companies were focused on making media, and content distribution companies were very focused on distribution, and platforms were really focused on what the end user was experiencing in terms of using their operating systems. Now we’re at a point where platforms are making content, distribution companies are making platforms, content companies are doing distribution, and some of them are dabbling in licensing platforms. It’s created a very confusing landscape. 

The reality is that all of those companies had a starting point with a financial structure that underpinned what their business was and was not. For example, we’re a distributor. We have no strength, history, or knowledge in making content. That’s a completely different cost structure and a different environment entirely. It would be pretty clear that we are not in the content business, right? We spend all of our money and effort on improving the end user experience via our technology, our distribution and the way we are reaching customers. 

If a media company comes into the space, and they say, ‘I’ve got all these investments in media and generating original content, but I’m also going to act as a distributor. I’m going to be marketing people directly. I’m going to be investing in technology and getting that pushed through to the end user.’ They’ve basically doubled their load financially. All the while they are pulling the rug out from their distributors. Your distributors are paying you $5 per sub and now you’re losing money on their platform. A lot of those decisions have been because people are seeing cord cutting coming online. There’s definitely fear around our revenue and ARPU. But, companies have underestimated the costs that are associated with moving from one business model to another. I don’t think that they were prepared to do it. Companies are loading up their business model with something that’s not necessarily their business.

Now that the incumbent media companies have all had some level of experience in going direct to direct to consumer, they understand the financial prospect of what that means. They’re going from a place where you’re free of any distribution costs with $5 per subscriber that you’re getting from your distributors to a negative $5 per consumer on their own platform. I do think that you will see a little bit more conservatism when it comes to the content they are keeping on live TV, because their money is coming from live TV. If they can’t supply that demand, they are being financially irrational.

To learn more about the state of the TV and streaming industry, tune into Episode 22 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Advice for Anyone Struggling With Diversity & Inclusion

During the Women In Telco miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast we’ve been shining a light on a variety of diversity issues. On Episode 2 of the miniseries we were joined by Tinuade Oguntuyi, the Head of Networks and Solutions at ICSL, to talk about diversity in the sector. With a fantastic career behind her, Tinuade now spends her time mentoring women in the workplace, particularly those who are starting their careers in tech, and volunteering for social impact and enterprise groups, where she delivers practical programmes that help bridge classroom and workplace inequalities. Here’s her advice for anyone struggling with diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace: 

“As a woman in tech or stem, you need to do 10x better than your counterparts. Once somebody said that a woman needs to be 2x better than a man to even go as far. If you truly want to be outstanding, that means you need to do 10x the amount of work to be seen as competent. Beyond that, in my personal experience, don’t get distracted by other people’s noise, because you will do yourself a disservice. If you do that, then you’re not able to pursue your dream. It would be better to just go for it. 

Any woman, any girl, even if you’re transitioning, if you’re early in your career, just go for it. Don’t run the risk of not doing something because you were scared or put off. Go on platforms where you can connect or network with people. Find people that will give you some resources. You can learn, you can have it all – maybe not at the same time, but you can. 

Take things easy on yourself. You don’t beat yourself too much. You don’t second guess yourself. Just go out and do your best, and you’ll get there. You’ll make an indelible mark in the space of telecoms.”*

To hear more from Tinuade, tune into Episode 14 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast

*Quote has been edited for length and clarity 

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Inside Data Loss Prevention

In recent years there have been growing concerns around privacy and data loss. On Episode 22 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast we spoke to Chris Denbigh-White, the Chief Security Officer at Next, about data loss and how it’s affecting the industry. Here are his thoughts: 

Data loss prevention has always been the ugly friend of cyber security. If you mention DLP to 9 out of 10 cyber professionals they’ll say, ‘this doesn’t work, but we’ve got to do it’. It’s effectively a tick-box exercise, but it’s a box that does nothing. It’s the old adage of a firewall that has allow rules going both ways. We have to do it though, because otherwise some of our users either complain massively, or are blocked from doing their job. That’s something that Next aims to address; we’re trying to provide DLP that makes sense. That means using machine learning to understand user behaviour. 

I like to understand people’s business processes and build guardrails around what they actually need for security. We’re here to ensure that people who do business and make money don’t lose all their data or have it stolen, as well as protecting them from getting massive GDPR fines. Security itself doesn’t make the business any money, but not having security can cost a business a lot. That means that we need to understand what is valuable to the business and find a way to protect it. 

That’s different from typical data loss prevention tools. We need to understand things like ‘how does this company deal with things like insider risk and insider threats?’ We’ll think outside the box, like ‘Why don’t we address risks through behavioural change and training people on better cyber practices, rather than relying on draconian controls?’ I strongly believe that what we’re doing increases business cadence and reduces friction by approaching DLP in that way. That’s something that I think AI and machine learning are going to help people understand better, because they’ll be used to understand the people around us better and therefore they’ll uncover internal and external threat actors more effectively. 

The way that we approach things is by helping companies understand what normal is, and helping them to address the question ‘Am I happy with what that normal is?’ Our solutions are built by asking things like, ‘Do I want people uploading things to this web application and not that web application?’ That’s a well trodden path to data loss. Another common issue is the use of copy and paste. On one hand, I want users to be able to copy and paste because we’re advocates of strong and long passphrases and the use of password managers – all of which utilise copy and paste. But on the other hand, I don’t want people copying and pasting swathes of sensitive data from sensitive apps and into a text file that’s then emailed off. 

We’ve moved away from just file based data loss, because people lose data in more ways than you’d think. There are copy and pastes, web uploads, Chat GPT prompts… being able to understand and control your data in those ways is its own tool. There’s a business process where we help companies identify their normal and their risks, then we set up specialised guardrails in a super simple process. I think that’s the future of the space. Companies that develop schooling to support security that’s done with people are going to succeed moving forward, whereas increasing levels of draconian control and intrusions are going to come to an end. 

To learn more about protecting your data, tune into Episode 22 of The Cyber Security Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.